Speleothem is greek for “cave deposit”, or cave formation. Marengo Cave is blessed with a wide variety of speleothems.
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Helictites are small, twisted formations that project from cave ceilings, walls, and even the floor. They grow erratically and defy the laws of gravity.
Stalactites, a most common cave formation, begin life as soda straws that become clogged. They grow downward until touching the cave floor.
Stalagmites are formed by water dripping from the ceiling. When the drop lands, calcite is deposited and a stalagmite grows upward.
As water entering the cave flows down walls and over floors or breakdown, calcite is deposited in deeper and deeper layers. This is known as Flowstone.
Also called cave coral, this formation can be found in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Most common are the small, knobby clusters that resemble popcorn.
Soda straws form when slow seeping water enters through a cave’s ceiling. Tiny circular rings of calcite are deposited one after another, forming a straw.
Rimstone dams are formed as water flows and tumbles over an edge, like water overflowing a sink. This results in calcite deposits around the edge of the dam.